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Hidden Benefits of Middle Age

Monday, August 09, 2010

A snippet from WomansDay.com on Improved Brain Function......

Sure, you may forget your keys more often, but the latest research indicates that, as with a fine wine, age might actually be good for your brain. “In her book , Barbara Strauch cites research that shows that in our middle years—ages 40 to 65—we are better at solving problems because we can think more creatively and conceptualize issues in a more comprehensive manner,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, MS, PT, a psychologist in private practice in Wexford, Pennsylvania. “Our wisdom from years of experience helps us be more intuitive so we can quickly and more accurately size up people and situations."

Well of course I know being older has its perks... what I didn’t know is I’m still considered “middle aged” emoticonAccording to this article I have two more years before I’m official a senior citizen and that’s plenty of time to push that envelope and come up with another title I like better because that’s what us Baby Boomers do emoticon

My inner child still feels young… my outer self not so much. But the euphemisms used to describe women in their 60s and beyond don’t fit any more. I don’t care for these…. old woman, pensioner, geriatric patient, granny, silver brigade, the elderly, in my sunset or golden years, aged, old folk… Booooo emoticon

Lets find a more appropriate title to describe the new us as we grow older gracefully through a healthier life style.

Any suggestions fellow SP?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLESSEDGRANDMA 8/10/2010 11:20PM

    Yay!! Encouraging words for sure!! We are OVERCOMERS for sure!!
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CHRISTYD921 8/10/2010 8:07PM

    To play off the sparkers idea ..how about sparklers

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/10/2010 6:17PM

    Another hidden benefit - I just got a discount on my hotel price (my 100 pound reward) for being a "senior citizen!"
Sheila

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IVYLIBRA 8/10/2010 10:50AM

    I'm simply AGELESS!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/10/2010 10:47AM

    I like the idea - let's be Sparkers!
Sheila

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MRSSTUP 8/9/2010 11:16PM

    How funny... when I was reading your blog I thought the exact same thing. "Man, I'm still middle age!" I agree, let's be Sparkers. This was a fun read..Thanks,
JoAnne

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CHERYL7777 8/9/2010 5:18PM

    Well that made my day to find out I'm still considered middle age and will be for 5 more years. Wow that really makes me feel great. I think we should just be called EXPERIENCED. I know I am.

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KSHAGGY 8/9/2010 4:51PM

    How about Sparkers instead of Seniors?

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Diets I've tried....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Let’s face it diets do work. Keeping the weight off is the trick.

And I’ve tried them all… from as far back as my teens to as recently as the early 80s.

The 1980s???? You say! emoticon

Yes, I honestly have not been on a diet since I lost 125 pounds in nine months on a doctor’s monitored “Protein Sparing Fast” which was the latest and greatest weight loss program at the time. It appears to still be around but it’s been modified. Well I certainly hope so because a little behavior modification would have gone a long way IF, when I was done losing, I had been able to keep it off. It’s taken me 30 years to put it all back on plus another 50 pounds to boot… or should I say too booty!!! OUCH

The really sad part of this whole mess is the fact that I wasn’t over weight as a child, in my teens or my early 20s. I had body issues so I believed I was fat. While in High School mom and I would replace a meal with “Sego” See the pounds GO…. was their motto, in preparation for swimsuit season. We even had a “Stauffer Machine”… don’t ask, heh. Looking back I didn’t need to lose an ounce. In fact I was stunning. Tall, and naturally blond with blue eyes and big boobs. But I didn’t see me then. I saw a big boned girl who got her height long before her friends, who wore woman’s sizes a couple years before they did. I stuck out. I got a lot of attention from men who didn’t realize how young I was. I was uncomfortable in my own skin but I didn’t know why.

Then I gained weight with my first pregnancy… and who doesn’t??? And found that I wasn’t being looked at in quit the same way. I felt more comfortable blending into the background and after having another wonderful son a couple years later I held onto that weight too. But I still wasn’t terribly over weight. If I had lost those 20-30 pounds I probably wouldn’t have packed on the 100 pounds I gained after my husband died in 1975.

1980 was my watershed year. I lost 125 pounds got remarried inherited a beautiful daughter and was very happy. I had a miscarriage but conceived again within months and gave birth at 35, in mid 1982, to another precious daughter. Had maybe an extra 20 pounds to lose then… but I didn’t and slowly over the next 25 years it all came back and I’ve been in poor health for years now. My knees are shot and I’m on 4 high blood pressure medications. The less I did the less I could or wanted to do. I kept telling myself I can’t exercise, there’s nothing I can do to turn this around in my 60s. So I continued to use food to comfort the damaged child I was feeding inside me. emoticon

One day I realized I was literally killing myself, life was going on with or without me and I felt like crap. With my 63rd birthday approaching and my weight creeping up I decided I’d prayed on it long enough and I had to face the demons that I’d allowed to pack on the pounds. I really was afraid of what I might learn about myself... but fear was not going to hold me back any more. So I started “facing my stuff instead of stuffing my face” and instantly I began to feel better. I started eating to live instead of living to eat. I began loving myself more than food and the scale loved me right back. It’s been hard but a lot less painful than living the life that I was just months ago.

The demons are still a part of who I was that’s made me who I am but if I can’t learn from my mistakes then my journey was worthless. Loving myself was the key that has opened the door to a healthier life style and Spark People has become the vehicle I’m using to get there… so far I’m loving the ride!!

There's plenty of room for you too so please join me as we put the top down and crank-up the volume because its truly a "Beautiful Day" emoticon

www.last.fm/music/U2/_/Beautiful+Day

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELTONWALKER67 8/8/2010 11:43AM

    I'll join you on this journey & Yes, It's a Beautiful Day! Great Blog & Thank you for sharing!

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KARRYB1 8/5/2010 1:03PM

    Your story surely does hit home for many of us. So glad you are doing well with Spark, all it takes is a little effort to begin and it's on to success. Great Blog! emoticon

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SHORTCAKE48 8/5/2010 12:33PM

  What a terrific blog. Have definitely been there, done that. I remember Sego--only I didn't see those pounds go. I have always fought with my weight. When I was in my late 20's I weighed around 115-119 and I thought I was enormous. Like you, I have lost and gained and lost and gained but this journey is different on SparkPeople--we are not alone emoticon None of us. We all have really good days and weeks and then not so good days and weeks.

Hey, I want to be in that convertible too, only I agree with Shelia--let's don't go over the cliff!! We have too much living left to do.

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JOANOFSPARK 8/5/2010 11:17AM

    oh, how I can relate to this.....the Sego..yes, I tried it and loved the chocolate........only one that I could stand...but I used it, thinking that I was fat.....even though I walked constantly in high school, I somehow got the impression that I was fat. Looking at my pictures I see a pint size venus....beautiful, but I could not see that then.

I have tried every diet on earth known to man and then some. Losing it and gaining it back, every time. I remember the Dolly Parton where I ate lots of watermelon and cabbage soup. I even had a magazine packed full of various quickie diets. Fun, and doable for about a week....but no more. You did not change your lifestyle. I also remember those machines that shook your fat like a bowl full of jelly, at Elaine Powers. Why do we do that to ourselves.

A niece recently found a picture of me taken somewhere around my son's senior year in high school. My husband said, "my gosh, you look like a movie star." I could not believe it; I don't remember ever looking that good or feeling that I looked that good, but the proof is there.....in the picture. What we do to ourselves, by beating ourselves up and not allowing ourselves to believe we are worthy of love.
We are beautiful from the inside out and we are worthy of love

I'll join you in that convertible.....where shall we go first.......*grin* sounds like fun to me..... emoticon

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PLAYBLUES22 8/5/2010 10:35AM

    Sweetie, great blog, nicely done emoticon

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MRSSTUP 8/4/2010 11:28PM

    I can so relate to your blog. Would love to travel along with you. Thanks for sharing your feelings.
JoAnne

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JINLYNN 8/4/2010 8:49PM

    It's amazing the baggage we carry around from years gone by - I like your motto: "facing my stuff instead of stuffing my face” - I too have issues to face and "monsters" to stare down.
And I am enjoying the SP road trip too.
Keep walking the journey.
Jineane


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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/4/2010 6:59PM

    Wonderful blog. Facing our past and what we experienced during those earlier times is often difficult and painful, but I truly believe we need to in order to move forward. I've done a lot of soul-searching and thinking back since joining Spark in November and have dealt with or at least "visited" several issues. I know that is what is helping me make progress and face each day determined to stay positive and on track. I slip frequently, but now I have the desire and the skills to continue on.
What color is our convertible? Can we be like Thelma and Louise, only not drive off a cliff?
Sheila


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VGIMLET 8/4/2010 5:17PM

    We had one of those machines with the webbing that was supposed to shake the weight off...or something...lol...

Great blog.

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I suck at Trivia

Monday, August 02, 2010

65% on Trivia… Yikes that’s a D emoticon it’s humbling to find out that I don’t know as much about my health as I thought I did. They know so much more now about nutrition and exercise than they did when I was paying attention back in my college health class. The nicest part of the trivia challenge is the immediate feedback when you get an answer wrong…. I am learning a lot and find myself applying the new information through out my day. And every once in awhile I get a question I got wrong before and get all excited and shout “Oh, oh, I know this one!!!!” Just another c00l SP tool that’s fun and informative…. Check it out if you haven’t already. It’s worth 3 points too emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SURFKITTY 8/2/2010 7:49PM

    I have a low average too, but that's OK because 1) I answer all the questions based on what I actually know (instead of just looking up the right answer) and 2) I'm hopefully learning something, I always read the little information bit on the right side where it explains why the correct answer is the correct answer, and hopefully that helps me remember it.

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SHORTCAKE48 8/2/2010 2:04PM

  Love the trivia too. I consider myself a professional dieter and thought I knew everything about dieting, nutrition, calories, etc. Well, boy was I wrong. It is a great learning tool.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/2/2010 12:24PM

    I always have fun with the trivia - it's surprising how much we DON'T know!
Sheila

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JOANOFSPARK 8/2/2010 10:34AM

    oh, yeah.....It so kicks my butt, but I am learning so much in the process..and on the days, few but they do happen....when I get 3 out of 3.....I am so happy and grinning from ear to ear.. I am learning so much from the trivia.

hey, 65% is not soo bad; at the moment, mine is 61%. Every time I get it up to 66%, I end up with some trick questions.....and when I see the answers, I think......well, duh!!I knew that....but I didn't think of it that particular way..it really makes you think, which is good....especially at my age....*grin*

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REDSKNU2 8/2/2010 10:33AM

    I agree! Trivia usually deals me a humiliating blow most mornings. I do love to play and learn!

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MRSSTUP 8/2/2010 10:31AM

    I'm in the same boat as you...60 something as a score. I do like to play and it is usually one of the first things I do. If they graded for real, I would be taking a class in summer school! emoticon
JoAnne

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NATKITA 8/2/2010 10:30AM

    I do it every day, and feel the same way. I love learning! I average about 75%, with some 100% days and other days where I apparently don't know diddly-squat! LOL

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PLAYBLUES22 8/2/2010 10:23AM

    That Spark Trivia kicks my butt sometimes, but talk about a learning tool it is definitely one emoticon

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MARSHASTAR 8/2/2010 10:01AM

    I agree. I like the trivia game. It's informative and fun. . . . . .65 per cent is my average too. Sometimes I get 100 per cent for the day, but it sinks back down over the week.
I'm learning a lot , though.
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BELTONWALKER67 8/2/2010 9:01AM

    Love to play Trivia! what's so sad is when I miss the same question more than once! Senior moments, I guess! Keep on playing to keep on learning & have fun!

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MRE1956 8/2/2010 5:56AM

    I've gone through "sucky" periods with the trivia.....I really wish they'd stop asking questions that involve percentages (I'm SO not the math type), or the amount of calories removed if you chose one thing over the other or chose a particular cooking method (those questions have always involved choices that I wouldn't make in the first place or cooking methods that I don't use)......yep, it's really annoying, that's for sure......

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BUTEAFULL 8/2/2010 4:26AM

    I love trivia of all kinds and so this is fun as well as informative for me
your score will improve

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July 1-31st…

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I’m going to miss these emoticon emoticon July was a wonderful month of self discovery and success. With several short term goals met and new habits made I’m looking forward to August. Summer has never been my favorite season, I don’t tolerate the heat well, emoticon but so far it’s been mild here in Southern California so I can’t complain and next summer I expect to have even less baggage to haul around so the heat may not even be an issue for me by then. Perhaps I’ll even embrace the season with new fervor.

July emoticonstarted out with a bang and ends with one as well emoticonOur beautiful youngest daughter celebrates her 28th birthday today as she shares the festivities with her one year old nephew, our darling grandson Ollie. She and her new DH, of 4 months, is the one who turned me on to SP… so a huge shout out to the birthday girl as well as a gigantic THANK YOU for “Sparking” me into a totally new lifestyle emoticon emoticonsweetheart emoticon

Off to the birthday parties
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAKEANDNELLIE 8/1/2010 6:43PM

    Thank you for sharing your happiness and positive attitude. Your joy resonates in your words.
Sheila

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PLAYBLUES22 7/31/2010 5:24PM

    Sweetie, by the sound of your blog you are on top of the world, good for you, and many more good days ahead emoticon

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KESTRIE 7/31/2010 4:30PM

    WooHoo!! I'm looking forward to August, too. And July was an incredible self-discovery month for me as well :)

Here's to August!! emoticon emoticon

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LBEEKMA 7/31/2010 4:09PM

    Congratulations on your new lifestyle! It makes all the difference in how we see the world (even summer!). I love your waterfall background...wish I was there cooling off...I'm in TX with 100+ today so know how you feel. What a caring daughter!

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My weight loss ticker…

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Early June this year found us praying our way as a family through a medical scare with my brother. God answered those prayers generously and now in solidarity as a family we have embarked on a “FAMILY FIRST HEALTHY CHOICES CHALLENGE” that runs from 6/21/10 to 9/6/10, and beyond for some of us, as we tackle weight loss, heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking and exercise issues, as well as drug and alcohol dependencies and all the emotional baggage that goes along with any addiction.

My personal goal was to get below 300 pounds in those 11 weeks. Which meant I should lose 2 pounds a week. So I joined SP but was too embarrassed to put my true weight out there for everyone to see so I choose to use the weight loss ticker set for a 23 pound loss with the 6th of September as my deadline.

Our family challenge goal charts are weekly and include a place to calculate our weight loss percentage which has to be verified by our spouses.

Uh oh… I hadn’t told my DH what I weighed in decades so this was going to be another problem for me.

So the first issue I had to face when I joined SP was coming clean with my hubby about my weight. It really was hard for me but I did it and in doing so that one step has made each issue easier to face and erase. And as I continued to share shameful secrets like cockroaches they scurried to hide every time that light went on above my head. What I’m learning is they can only be eliminated if squashed by the truth, owned by their keeper, and acknowledged out loud.

Today, six weeks after joining SP, we are half way through our family challenge but I’m feeling 100% better and the physical and emotional improvements have been life changing.

I’m looking forward to adjusting my ticker on September 7th to proudly read what I weighed when I started SparkPeople and the 143 pounds I plan to eliminate along with the anger, guilt and shame due to emotional eating. I won’t have an end date in mind this time, I don’t care how long it takes. With the tools available and this wonderful community surrounding me how could I possibly lose faith in myself or the goals I’ve set?

SparkPeople lightens the load and illuminates’ the path towards a healthy life style.

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works
And give glory to your father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

NEVER QUIT

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GERYPAL 7/29/2010 10:52PM

  Great Blog. What fortitude you have. emoticon

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JAKEANDNELLIE 7/29/2010 6:02PM

    You are making incredible progress, both physically and mentally. It was extremely difficult to post my first picture on my page in November and excruciatingly painful to post my starting weight a few weeks ago. Strangely enough, doing both gave me a sense of freedom.
The family challenge is fantastic! I wish certain of my family members would become involved.
Keep up the fantastic work and keep that positive attitude shining!
Sheila

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PAISHAR2 7/29/2010 3:45PM

    AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

YOU KEEP UP THE GREAT JOB!!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU ALL!!!!

SHARON

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MARSHASTAR 7/29/2010 10:03AM

    Thank you for sharing. It's a big step, but what a relief - to share something with people who care.



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REDSKNU2 7/29/2010 9:48AM

    Admitting my true weight is very difficult for me. Being on the shorter side, I think (I know) that I look heavy - but I don't think folks realize exactly HOW heavy until they hear the number. Good luck on your journey - your positive flow that is going right now can carry you to success!

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PLAYBLUES22 7/29/2010 9:34AM

    Sweetie, what a great blog, not only are you admitting the true issues, now you can conquer all aspects of your life emoticon

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MRSSTUP 7/29/2010 9:12AM

    I think we are all pretty much in the same boat as you. We have had the same weight and health issues, and the embarrassment that goes along with them. You are doing great in addressing the problem and finding the solutions to correct the problems. Keep up the good work!!
JoAnne emoticon

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SPARKLINGDAWN 7/29/2010 3:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SURFKITTY 7/29/2010 1:53AM

    Admitting my true weight was also a huge issue for me but typing my 200+ weight the first day I joined SP made me more committed to losing it once and for all. Being accountable, even if it's just to strangers, was a huge step for me.

I think it's great your family is getting healthy together and that you're accountable to someone other than yourself. Keep at it!

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TC9731 7/29/2010 1:25AM

    emoticon

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